If one can come to know that one doesn't know one has arrived

Fri, 6 December 1976 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Blessed Are the Ignorant
Chapter #:
pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium
Archive Code:
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[Osho asks a sannyasin how she is, and she replies: I don't know!]

That's the right answer to everything!

Just this morning I was reading about one zen master. When he came to meet his own master, the master asked him, 'What have you been doing up to now?'

He said, 'I have been travelling and searching and seeking.'

The master asked, 'Do you know what you are searching for... what you are travelling for?'

He said, 'I don't know!'

The master laughed loudly and said, 'That's exactly the place everybody is seeking!'

If one can come to know that one doesn't know, one has arrived. Knowledge is an illusion, and to understand that there is no way to understand anything, is to become wise. To know that there is no possibility of knowing.... Nobody has ever known anything, and nobody is ever going to know, because life is a mystery. It cannot be known! It can be lived - but it cannot be known. No explanation exists. By the very nature of things it cannot be explained; it is explicable.

So to know that there is no way to know is a great realisation. And, 'I don't know!' is the right answer for every question. If you can settle in your not-knowing, if this 'I don't know' can become really crystallised, the 'I' will disappear, because the 'I' exists only with knowledge.

If you don't know, you cannot exist. The ego feeds on knowledge. Once knowledge is lost, the ego disappears automatically. Then something is left which is neither you nor me, which is neither I nor thou. Something is left which is tremendously mysterious.

Henry miller was ill - and he is very old; I think eighty-two or eighty-four - and somebody told him, 'You are ill, and nobody knows - you may be on your deathbed. If you were to assert your whole understanding of life in one word before you die, what would you say?'

He opened his eyes and he said, 'Mystery!'

That condenses the whole experience.

So people who claim to know are the most stupid people. Wisdom comes through recognition of tremendous ignorance.

So abide in this 'I don't know'. Let this be your temple. Relax into it, rest in this ignorance. It is pure, it is innocent... it is blissful. And if you can rest in your ignorance, you will have peace and you will have bliss and you will have all that a man needs to. But abide in this 'I don't know'. Let this be your meditation...

And whenever knowledge arises, laugh at it - you are again becoming foolish. Whenever you start thinking, 'I know this' - beware! You are getting into the trap of illusion again.

Ignorance is primordial. It is the very foundation of existence. You bring it with you, and when you go, you take it with you. And all knowledge is just like a dream... passing phases. It is amazing that people never look into their knowledge, otherwise they would be surprised that they don't know anything! When Ouspensky went to his master, Gurdjieff, for the first time, Gurdjieff looked at him - he was a man of knowledge, this ouspensky. He was already world-famous, a great author, a mathematician... very knowledgeable. His book, 'tertium organum' - one of the most learned books ever - had been recently published. Even in that book, ouspensky claimed that there were only three books in the world of any significance. First was aristotle's 'ORGANUM', second was Bacons's 'NOBLE ORGANUM', third was his book, 'TERTIUM ORGANUM'.

When he came to Gurdjieff, Gurdjieff looked into his eyes, gave him a piece of paper, and told him to go into the other room and write on one side of the paper what he knew, and on the other side what he didn't know.

Gurdjieff said, 'This is very significant, because only after you have done this, can I talk to you.

Whatsoever you know, write it clearly. We will never discuss it, because you know it, so what is the point? And whatsoever you don't know, write on the other side - that we will work on.'

Ouspensky writes, 'It was a cold night and I started shivering. Though there was a fire in the room, I started shivering, perspiring... a cold perspiration. Such a fear I have never experienced - as if I were going to die! I started to write but nothing was coming - I went blank. I could not write what I knew. In fact the more I looked into it, the more I felt I knew nothing. After an hour I had to come out and give the paper back, and say, "I don't know anything, so you can start!" '

Gurdjieff said, 'Then there is possibility. One grows when one accepts one's ignorance.'

So, 'I don't know', is one of the most beautiful answers for any question whatsoever. Abide in it, rest in it. And if you can remember it, nothing else is needed. This will become your door.

I have coined a new beatitude - just like jesus's beatitudes 'Blessed are the meek' and, 'Blessed are the poor in spirit.' I say, 'Blessed are the ignorant!'

[Osho asked a sannyasin how he felt during a nine-month intensive group he had done. He replied:

Well, most of the time I just felt like a stranger.]

When you felt like a stranger, was it a pleasant or unpleasant feeling?

[He replies: In a way I liked it.]

You liked it? Mm mm... that's how it should be - because we are strangers. In fact to be at home in this world is to be in some dream. That at-homeness is almost always illusory. That feeling - that one is a stranger - is truer.

We are strangers... we are outsiders..This is not our home - hence the search. If this is our home then there is no point in searching. That is the difference between the worldly man and the religious man - the worldly man has accepted this world as his home; he is at home. The religious man has not been able to accept it as his home - it is not. He feels strange. He feels as if he is coming from somewhere else and that he is going somewhere else... as if his destiny is somewhere else - some other plane of being, some other altitude of consciousness, some altered state of consciousness.

That is the religious desire. It arises when you feel like a stranger. Then you start searching for something that may be your home. One has to go long distances to arrive home. Not that the home is very far - it is very close, but to come close one has to travel long distances. Not that the home is outside - it is inside, but to turn towards the inner, one has first to search the outer.

To come to one's own home, one has to knock at many houses - there is no other way.

So whenever you feel that stranger arising in you, don't try to put it away, don't try to put off that feeling. Don't try to make yourself comfortable, don?t try to make yourself at home - because that feeling is going to lead you further. At-homeness is not going to lead you anywhere.

That may be a little painful; it is not very comfortable. It has a discomfort in it because one wants to be at home and relaxed. It pinches like a thorn - that this is not your home, that this is a caravanserai... maybe good for an overnight's stay, but in the morning you have to go. That feeling should be continuously maintained. If you lose track of it, you are stuck.

Then one day, one really comes home. Then it is not just a feeling of at-homeness. Then you are the home. Not that you are in a convenient relationship with the world - no! You are no more. The world and you are not separate anymore. Only then have you arrived home. The universe becomes your womb and you are part of it.

Psychologists have some insight into it when they say that religious people are seeking the same comfortable state that was available to each child when he was in the mother's womb. They have a certain insight into it. It is true... some ingredient of truth is in it.

When the child is in the mother's womb, he is not separate. The mother breathes for him, the mother eats for him. He is affected by every mood of the mother, every climate of the mother. He is a part of her... he vibrates with her. If the mother is sad, he is sad. If the mother is happy, he is happy. He is a member... an organic member. He is not separate at all - he is joined together. Then the birth - and the separation and the divorce.

The divorce from the mother is the divorce from the universe. Then one is alone. Man tries in every way to make himself comfortable, but he never succeeds. And it is good that you never succeed, because if you succeed, you are lost. One again and again fails. And again and again one makes a home; again finds that this is just a house - this is not a home. One has to move and to go on moving.

Only then again one day, you become capable of entering into the same relationship as there was with your mother when you were in the womb. That was an unconscious relationship - now the relationship will be conscious. You consciously enter into the universal womb. Consciously you join together with the uni-verse.

Burke calls it 'cosmic consciousness'... it is right. Call it god consciousness, bud&a consciousness, or whatsoever you like - but again as it was with the body in the mother's womb, so it is with your soul... and this is the second birth.

All that I am doing here is just to help you to attain to the second birth. So never get stuck on the way. It is good to stay and rest sometimes, but always remember that the home is far away; one has to go, the night is dark and the journey is arduous.

That challenge should never be lost sight of, and one should never lose that adventurous quality that arises out of the feeling that you are a stranger... that you don't belong here. Nobody belongs here.

Do a few groups here, mm? and let that stranger come alive....

[A sannyasin says: At the moment I feel very confused... It's a change for me coming from the West.

Everything here is somehow so new... so totally new.]

It is natural. When you come from the west to the east, or when you go from the east to the West, there is bound to be a period of resettling, a transition period, because there are two polarities.

When you live in a certain society, you live in a certain way, a certain life-style, there is a certain thinking, and you have to fit with that society. It is very unconscious, mm? but you live in a pattern.

When you change the society, the change is very drastic. And coming from the west to the east is a drastic change, mm? All the categories are different - and particularly when you come to a person like me, the change is even more drastic. If you come from London to Bombay there is not much of a problem because Bombay is just as western as London. But to come to this ashram....

We have a totally different philosophy of life, the values differ, so it takes a few days to get acquainted.

But this is nothing to be worried about. It is not such a confusion that it becomes a problem. It is not a problem at all.

It is just as when the body goes through an adjustment. The body clock is disturbed, and the body takes two, three days, to resettle. The mind takes a little longer - a week, two weeks... at the most three weeks.

And it is good to come here and to go back many times; to come here and to go back. By and by you will become more fluid, and it will not take so much time; it will not create so much confusion.

Then you can just change as one changes the gear in a car. In the beginning when you learn to change the gear, it is a difficult thing, but by and by you become so efficient that not even a slight jerk is felt. In the beginning it is very jerky.

So my whole effort here is to help you to know what the east is - or once was... to bring you to the eastern freedom, the eastern spiritual freedom, the eastern spiritual consciousness, the vast, empty space of the universe - and to send you back to the west.... I don't want you to be here permanently.

Go back - go back to the world and try to carry this inner space in those contrary situations.

Sooner or later you will find that the space remains unaffected. You will be able to move in the very materialistic, technological, scientific world, without losing yourself at all. And come again and again to be refreshed, so that the inner space does not become contaminated, is not polluted - and then go back again.

Once you have become perfectly in tune, there is no need to come. Be wherever you are and I will be with you.

This confusion is nothing to be worried about, mm ? It is natural. It will go....

[An elderly sannyasin, returning from the west, says: I have felt you very close to me the last few months. People have been so very kind to me... have been welcoming..It's been lovely.]

It is - because the world is really a very loving world. We just live with wrong attitudes, so even kind people look unkind, even loving people don't look loving - because we are hiding behind fear, we are not vulnerable. And when we are afraid, the other becomes afraid. Fear creates fear. When we are defensive, the other becomes defensive - and of course this is a vicious circle. When you see that the other is defensive, you become more afraid, you become more defensive. Then hatred arises.

We have been brought up with very wrong values - the darwinian concept that life is a struggle, and the fittest survives. All nonsense!

Life is not a struggle at all - it is a love affair.

It is absurd to say that the fittest survives. In fact the one who survives is the one who is very very soft, loving, kind, compassionate. The fragile survives... the feminine survives.

But we have been brought up with those ideas, so we are continuously on guard. Everybody is on guard - and everybody is thirsty for love, hungry for love. People are dying. Millions of people are available and nobody loving. Everybody wants to be loved, and everybody wants somebody to love, but the fear... the wrong conditioning.

Once you drop these conditionings, suddenly the whole world changes its colour - it becomes psychedelic. It is very colourful.

That is my whole effort in giving you sannyas - so that you drop the old violent attitudes - attitudes based in fear and obsessions based in fear - and you start loving. And there is nothing to lose!

Even if you are cheated and robbed, there is nothing to lose. Even if you are killed, there is nothing to lose.

Life is beautiful only when there is love. Love is a higher value than life... a greater value than life.

Life can be sacrificed to love, but love cannot be sacrificed to life.

Just the other day I was reading a story. Leslie weatherhead tells the story of the second world war.

Two soldiers were very friendly, great friends. One evening one soldier comes back to the trench but finds that his friend has not returned. The day has been very hard, and many people have been killed on the front. He becomes afraid - is his friend killed?

He enquires, and then somebody says, 'We are not certain that he is killed, but he was so terribly wounded that it was impossible for him to come to the trench. By now he must be dead.'

It is getting dark now and the enemy is still firing madly but the soldier wants to go and search for his friend. The officer says, 'No, this is foolish', but he doesn't listen to the officer - he goes. It is very difficult in the dark and there are thousands of corpses all around. He looks and looks and in the middle of the night he returns - dragging his friend's dead body on his back. He himself is now terribly wounded, mortally wounded... he cannot survive. The moment he reaches the trench he falls on the floor with the body of his dead friend.

The officer comes and he says, 'I told you not to be foolish! It was not worth it. Now you know what you have done to yourself. The friend is dead and you are dying!'

The dying man opened his eyes and he said, 'But it was worth it - because when I went there, he looked at me and he said, "Jim, I knew you would come."'

For love, life can be sacrificed - it is worth it. But we have been taught just the contrary: sacrifice everything just to be alive; just to survive, sacrifice everything.

I teach you the contrary: to be loving, sacrifice everything.

Even if life is sacrificed, good - it is worth it. And the moment you have this attitude, the whole world changes. Your change changes the whole world. And suddenly you see that people are so loving and so kind - they have always been!

[The sannyasin has brought a friend with her. She had previously written to Osho about him, and now says: I think he's a person who's been searching very hard, and he waited long to come here.

He is in the state of chaos that you love so much, Osho!]

Yes, I know! (laughter) That's very good! Only out of chaos are stars born. Order is always ugly - chaos is always beautiful, because order is always dead, and chaos is always alive.

(to the visitor) I have heard that you were contemplating suicide.... That's perfectly good, that's needed - a basic requirement to becoming a sannyasin! Sannyas is a better sort of suicide, because in ordinary suicide you simply leave the body and enter another body - it is not much. You simply change the clothes.

But I can change you - why change clothes? I can transform you totally, so why change houses?

Why not be changed yourself? The change of house is not going to prove of any value because you will remain the same... you will be born again.

But this is significant.... To me, in my understanding, a person who is ready to commit suicide is the right person for sannyas, because that means that he is really fed up with the whole nonsense that the so-called life is. He is fed up with it and sees no meaning in it.

But ordinary suicide is simply very destructive. I teach you a very creative suicide. You die - but you not only die... you resurrect. On this side there is crucifixion; on another side there is resurrection.

That is the meaning of jesus' crucifixion that he died and yet he didn't die.

Sannyas is that type of death. You die and yet you really become, for the first time, alive.

This situation comes to every sensible man, to every man who has a little awareness, a little intelligence. He starts thinking, 'What is the point of it all? It seems so pointless.'

Only mediocre minds never think about it. Only stupid people go on in the rut - moving in the rut.

But if you have a little intelli-gence, you are bound to feel that this life has no meaning - some other life has to be searched for. So intelligence is a great responsibility, and intelligence is a great chaos, because intelligence is creativity.

I can understand your turmoil - because you are an intelligent person; that's why you are in a turmoil.

Stupid people are never in a turmoil. They are unfortunate.

Become a sannyasin!

Divya means divine, ananda means bliss; divine bliss. So forget the old name completely. You have committed suicide - it can be done so easily! Change to orange and forget the old personality, and I will take care of the new, mm? Good.... Things are already different....

And don't feel worried about your mother. ..because she has come back into the child. So it is beautiful, rare. One should be happy; one should not be worried about it. That simply shows a great truth of life - that nobody dies; we only change houses.

And it is good - your mother must have been getting old, so she has found a new body - perfectly good! It is a very rare fortune to have your own mother as your own child. It is very beautiful. Simply be happy and treat the child as your mother. Be respectful.

Don't feel guilty. It is natural, mm? because you think that the mother prayed to god, 'My son has no child. Take my life, and let that be a child to my son!' She died within the month that the wife got pregnant, so it is natural that in your mind somehow you feel guilty - that your mother died for you.

But she is born again! And she has a better body now, and a longer life. It is a rare opportunity.

It happens sometimes - but very rarely. But she must have loved you tremendously - that's why it happened.... In india there are many cases like that.

It happened once that a great musician had many disciples. He was a very great maestro and he had thousands of disciples. He was getting very old... he was almost one hundred years old. All the disciples from the far corners of the country gathered to celebrate because this might be his last birthday. He might not be here again for the next birthday. They brought many valuable presents - because even kings were his disciples, rich people were his disciples. They all brought many beautiful things - valuable diamonds, this and that. One beggar was also his disciple, and he had nothing. When he came, the master asked jokingly, 'What have you brought for me?' The beggar stood there and he said, 'I have nothing - but I pray to god to give my life to my master!'

And immediately he died - then and there! Immediately... not even a second breath! He must have loved his master tremendously. And it is said that the master lived for thirty years more. The beggar was almost fifty years old, so maybe he was going to live for eighty years; the master lived for thirty years more.

Love is a miracle. Your mother must have loved you tremendously. So be happy - to find such a mother is rare. And to find the mother back in your own child is very rare. Now respect her, and don't be worried about it - nothing is wrong in it. In fact through this incident, a great mystery is revealed to you - that nobody dies, and that love is higher than life and death, and that love can control even life and death.

Love is supreme. Love is the very stuff that the universe is made of.

[The Sahaj group is at darshan. One member says: I feel I'm sick of groups and of analysing myself.

I came here with [my boyfriend]. We're both doing groups and we're both sick.... It just doesn't feel so good.]

Then don't do groups! You just have to look at one thing. First, if the group was both good and bad, then it was really good, because a true group is bound to be both - good and bad. If a group is simply good, there must be something false in it, because then where will the bad go? The group has to be both the day and the night, happy moments and sad moments. It has to be very contradictory, then it is true.

Truth is a contradiction. Only lies are very consistent and never contradictory.

So if you say that it was good sometimes and bad sometimes, then I say it was really good, because that's how a true group should be. If it were all sweet, then no growth would be possible through it.

And therapy is a growth. The word 'therapy' comes from a greek root which means assistance - 'therapsis'.

The group is just an assistance to you so that you can see your whole being. It is good and bad both. The group is just like a mirror - it simply shows your face. And if you say that you are sick of groups, you may be sick of yourself - because a group is nothing... it is just a mirror.

If somebody says, 'I am sick of the mirror,' what is the meaning of it? The meaning is simply that he is sick of his face. You wanted it to be always beautiful - and it is not, so you are sick of it. You are angry at the mirror - you would like to break it - but breaking the mirror is not going to help.

One has to become so mature that one can absorb the bad part with the good; can create an integrity, a crystallisation in which the bad and good both meet together, lose their oppositeness, befriend each other - and then life is richer.

A good man is not a rich man. A bad man is also not very rich, because both lack the other. A really rich man is almost like a rascal-saint.

That's what Allan Watts writes about George Gurdjieff - that he was a rascal-saint.... That's true. A real saint is bound to be a rascal too. If he is just a saint, he is just sugar. If you take too much of a saint who is just sugar, he will create diabetes. A real person is both! He can be very loving and he can be very hard. He can be very innocent, and he can be very intelligent. He can be very very free, and he can be very very responsible. He can be very open, vulnerable like a flower, but there are moments when he can become closed like a rock. A real person has both the polarities.

The group simply shows you your reality. But I think you have a certain value system in your mind - an idea of how you should be - and whenever the bad part comes up, you cannot accept it.

You can drop out of the groups - there is no need to do them if you are sick of them - but make certain whether you are sick of the groups or sick of your own inner duality. If you are sick of your own inner duality, then groups will be helpful to integrate you.

And why are you so afraid of being analysed?

[She answers: I guess I don't like what I see.]

Yes, that's what I am saying - you don't like what you see, but that's what is the case. So just by not seeing it, it will not dis-appear. Don't try to be an ostrich! Just by not seeing it, it will not disappear.

But it can disappear if you really look into it deeply. If you want it to disappear; you will have to face it.

Facing is always very very hard, arduous, painful. Mm? It is as if you have taken the bandage off the wound and you look into it... it is sickening. It is better to keep the bandage on and put flowers on top of it and be happy. But that is not going to help. The wound is there... it will become more cancerous.

So if you are really interested in getting rid of something in your being, facing it is the only way there is. Look into it - look into it courageously. Suffer the pain of looking into it, and your look will make you a different person. You can escape and avoid, but but it will not go.

For a few days you can take a rest; then you will become ready. When the desire to do a group comes again, enquire. But wait for the desire... it will come. Don't be worried.

[A group member says: I hesitate to express myself in front of other people. I'm afraid of the reaction of the other people, and it's quite hard for me to push through the wall of that fear. When I get through it, afterwards I feel very happy - but it is always a struggle.]

It will go - that's the beginning part. If you really feel happy afterwards, how long can you resist the temptation? That happiness is waiting for you beyond the wall, so you have to go through the wall.

After a few times you will see that nobody is in any way worried about you - what you are doing and what you are expressing... not at least in my ashram. Everybody here is so mad - nobody will take any notice. You can be completely at ease. In the next group simply relax, and just watch. You will be surprised - nobody is reacting.

That is the whole point - to create a community of people who are of alike minds. That's what I am creating - a small world of alike people. So they accept you, mm? They give you freedom to be yourself. If you cannot relax here with my sannyasins, where else will you be able to relax? Then this world is too hard for you!

Here everybody is accepting you. Even if you do some nonsense thing, they will enjoy it - they will not react. In fact they will start participating with you because they are also waiting; they were afraid of your reaction. Now they say, 'This man too, is mad.' Now there is no fear.

In the next group you do, simply behave as if you are alone. And just after two, three days, you will see that nobody is reacting nobody is condemning you. Nobody is even evaluating that what you are doing is good or bad. So whatsoever is spontaneous is spontaneous. Whatsoever is, is. So if you are crying, you are crying. Why should they react? You are not doing anything to them - you are simply crying. It is your freedom! It is your birthright to cry.

But the conditioning is in the mind. From the very beginning one has been taught, 'Don't do this - do this! What will others think? Always think of others; always consider what others will think. Never consider what is real, what is true, what is natural, what is authentic. Always consider what others will think' - and they consider what you think. Just look at the absurdity! They are afraid of you - you are afraid of them.

If you become free of the fear of them, they will become free of the fear of you, and then there is freedom, and only in freedom does love grow. Only in freedom does growth happen. Only in freedom is relationship possible.

In tao (his next group) you will relax fifty percent. In encounter, one hundred percent - I promise! I know you deeper than you know yourself, mm? I have been watching you - you are growing. You are just coming to the point where you will simply drop all rubbish, Good!

[To another sannyasin, who has been teaching sufi dancing, Osho says:]

I would like you to become part of my family, mm? so be here. I like your energy, and I would like you to use it in a more creative way. So just become part of the ashram, and forget all the problems and things like that.

It is always easier to drop the problems than to solve them. And whenever you can drop a problem, better drop it rather than solve it, because even if you succeed in solving it - which is very difficult - something of it will continue in a modified form.

So about problems one should be very very particular. First thing: if you can drop them, that is better than solving them. If they cannot be dropped, only then try to solve them. And my understanding is that if you are ready to drop them, ninety-nine percent of problems can be dropped. There is no need to solve them - they are not worth it.

If you live too long with problems they tend to become part of your being. Then one part of your being clings to them, and one part tries to solve them - there is a dichotomy. Then you move in diametrically opposite directions, because one part has become so accustomed to them that without them it will not be able to live.

I used to know one couple. The husband is a drunkard, and for almost fifteen years the wife had been continuously fighting. That was the only problem. She would come to me and she would say, 'This is the only problem. If you can solve it.... And my husband comes to you - he is almost a disciple to you. He is mad about you because when he gets drunk, he talks only of you - nothing else! So help me! I don't want any enlightenment,' the woman said, 'I don't want any peace of mind.

If my husband is not in this mad state, I will be perfectly happy.'

So I told the husband, 'Just for seven days try not to drink, and let us see what happens.' For seven days he stopped. In the first place the wife was never expecting this. She had been talking about it, but not expecting it. Fifteen years' investment suddenly gone - nothing to talk about, nothing to fight about. And not only that - her power, her 'holier than thou' attitude.... Suddenly the husband was no more that dirty fellow, that drunkard, and she could not pull him down again and again the whole day.

On the seventh day I went to their house, and asked, 'How are you feeling?' She said, 'I am feeling sad. This is strange - he has really stopped! But I am feeling very sad - as if my whole life's work is gone. Now I don't see why I should live. That had become my meaning.'

It is very dangerous to live with problems too long - they become your meaning. So immediately whenever there is a problem, the first thing is - if you can, drop it. If you cannot drop it by any chance, then solve it. The problem that cannot be dropped is worth solving, and you will grow through it.

So forget your husband and the problems connected with him, mm? Just be here... and forget america.

And if you need problems, I can create many, mm? (laughter)

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